Plaza construction interferes with student life

People who have not set foot on the plaza all summer are in for a surprise.

“The plaza’s pretty much gone,” said Doni Luckutt, director of marketing for the LSC. “It’s almost nonexistent at the moment … when school starts the plaza will be only just a fraction of its former glory.”

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Over summer, construction surrounding the Lory Student Center extended to the plaza, leaving just a fraction of space where students can walk.

“(The) space is much smaller than expected,” Luckutt said. “(It’s) not going to be the LSC Plaza as you know it.”

A fence went up in May right after Commencement and encased most of the plaza with the exception of the east side next to the Computer Science and Engineering buildings.

“The thought was that the construction crew could take up all this space during the summer and then shrink it back down for fall, but when we started looking at how much activity and noise there is, as well as safety concerns, we thought maybe we should consider a bigger space being taken from the Plaza,” Luckutt said.

This loss of space means that activities that usually call the plaza home will have to move elsewhere or simply not happen.

“There are a lot of events that happen on the plaza,” said Nik Olsen, assistant director for administrative communications. “I think a lot of them are just going to have to be figured out case-by-case.”

Alternate locations for such events include the space in front of the Morgan Library, the West Lawn and Monfort Quad.

Losing the plaza will have a definite effect on students’ ability to navigate campus, but both Luckutt and Olsen assure that those involved are working to minimize the inconvenience.

“We work really hard to push construction crews and push Facilities Management to let them know what our students need based on past experience,” said Luckutt. “(They) work really hard to make sure that we’re accommodating students as much as possible.”

Maps will be hung up around campus and handed out to students as a way to help them find their way around the renovation.

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“We’ve been planning for this for a long, long time and our number one goal is to make sure students are informed and that their daily activities are interrupted as little as possible,” Luckutt said.

The LSC renovation is just one of the many ongoing construction projects on and around campus.

Work is currently being done at Laurel Village, the Behavioral Sciences Building and Animal Sciences, among others.

Hughes Stadium is getting a new scoreboard and the Scott Building is getting improvements on one floor.

Moby Arena just got a new training room a couple of weeks ago and is currently in “branding” process, which includes putting athletic signage around the building.

According to Cass Beitler, assistant director for Facilities Management, all of this construction is being done with the goal of making campus better.

“The University wants to make improvements for students,” he said. “They want it to be an appealing campus that functions better for faculty and students.”

Senior Reporter McKenna Ferguson can be reached at news@collegian.com